They come on with barely a warning,
these blasts to the heart cyclonic,
leaving behind torn life lying scattered
and your scattered lies tearing at life.
When you try to catch one of these
twisted things, you can become
so intent on its skips and feints
you lose your grip on the reins of reality,
bucking the whirlwind like some
pentametric Pecos Bill.
Tossed and broken in its wake,
you think, nah, that was a fluke,
a blink of inattention to the moment.
But within that moment you realize
a tornado can leave a landscape broken
or it can strip it bare of all in its
swirling sweep. You watch it walk away,
knowing it could be worse, piecing together
the debris of what might have been,
instead of starting over with your heart
swept clean as a prairie in August.
This week, my friend Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday prompt was the photo above this poem. She called it “It was a Dark and Stormy Night, after tornado blew through her neck of the woods. I took a somewhat different view of a storm’s aftermath.